90 local children join their forever families on National Adoption Day

90 local children join their forever families on National Adoption Day

MECKLENBURG COUNTY, N.C. — Saturday was National Adoption Day and 90 local children officially joined their new families.

The process took months or years for some families, but they all completed adoptions in Mecklenburg County and surrounding areas.

“All of our children are unique and special and have different needs... and families are unique and special,” said Charles Bradley with Mecklenburg County Youth and Family Services.

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Deborah Williams husband, Rudolph Williams, died in July and she said it was his dream to adopt and grow their family of seven. Williams said his dream now lives through their new daughters, aged 6 and 7.

“They just took to the children like they had been there forever, and that's when I knew,” Williams said.

Each family was recognized in the county courthouse among their peers and other families.

The celebration Saturday was also designed to draw attention to nearly 125,000 children who still need a home.

"They kept telling everyone. At the daycare. At the school. ‘I'm getting a permanent family, I have my own mommy.’ And I love hearing that. When they first started calling me mommy, it just felt, right,” Williams said.

The average child in the United States will wait three years to be adopted, while more than 20,000 children age out of the system. In North Carolina, there are currently more than 11,000 foster children, but only about 7,000 homes.

About half of the children who were adopted Friday went through the Mecklenburg County Foster Care System.